Born Jul 26, 1928. From Manhattan, New York.
“Watching a Kubrick film,” Martin Scorsese once said, “is like gazing up at a mountaintop. You look up and wonder, how could anyone have climbed that high?” Born in Manhattan in 1928, Stanley Kubrick was an avid fan of photography before ever entering the filmmaking world. As a young man, he spent his time doing freelance photography and playing chess. Both interests would serve his career as a filmmaker. Directing just thirteen films in over forty years, Kubrick was meticulous in his choices of films and, more specifically, his decisions within his films. His penchant for countless takes, a process that was both liberating and frustrating to actors, expressed his chess-like directorial attitude, playing out as many options as possible until he found the “perfect” take. His lifelong interest in still photography and paintings also influenced his work, with films such as Barry Lyndon offering countless tableaux. Kubrick’s ability to so easily and effectively jump between genres is unparalleled in the history of cinema, ranging from noir in 1956 with The Killing, to sci-fi with the classic 2001:A Space Odyssey, to gothic horror with The Shining. Yet, his vision is so singular and unique, one can immediately recognize his work. After the decline of the Hollywood studios in the 1960’s, few directors held as much individual clout as Kubrick did. In 1999, he passed away in Hertfordshire, England.